PREPARING FOR FALL...While I am still in full-on summer mode, I know that I need to be proactive and start thinking about and preparing for the fall. I will begin homeschooling Caedmon in September, as well as returning to SLAH after more than a year off. This will be a year of trial and error, as I get my feet wet with homeschooling and learn what works for us and what doesn't, what our style is (unschooling? Charlotte Mason-inspired?), and just how a mother keeps a house clean, good food on the table, teaches one child with others running around, and maintains a graceful composition.
So, while I am definitely still in a vacation state of mind, I do have an eye to the future, and am starting to implement some changes that will hopefully be routines by September, and will help bring order and calm to our home.
-Flylady's methods. I was consistent with Flylady several years ago, and the results were simply astounding. After several months of sticking with the routines and decluttering, it was truly as though my house cleaned itself. I spent very little time cleaning, yet it was almost always company ready (or could be, within 15 minutes). I have fallen off the bandwagon since then, but am determined to do it again, because I think this will be a huge asset to homeschooling successfully. I have begun to do a thorough cleaning, and am sending more bags to Goodwill.
-Getting up early. This is a hard one for me, because I love to sleep, but is another tool that really helps my days run much more smoothly. Getting up by 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning gives me time to get dressed, have devotions, start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, go running, take a shower, etc. If I don't do this, I spend the whole day feeling like I am just trying to catch up. Getting up early allows me to be proactive, rather than reactive.
-Planning my meals. Every Sunday night, after the kids are in bed, my hubby goes to the theatre with some of his guy friends. I always look forward to Sunday nights, because it is my chance to sit and plan out the coming week. I make my to-do list, which I then divide up into daily to-do lists. This is also the time that I spend making out my menu for the following week. It is so relaxing to go through the pantry and freezer, peruse cookbooks, and thinking about who we will be having into our home the following week.
-Having a plan. While I love the idea of being a spur-of-the-moment, happy-go-lucky person, in reality, I need a loose schedule. Besides, my husband is already that way, so I need to balance him out! :)
Knowing what we will do on which days really helps me stay organized and efficient. Plus, by having a general idea of what happens when, I am able to ensure that activities that are important to me, such as devotions and working out, don't fall through the cracks. Sunday is worship and planning (evening), Monday is house cleaning and date night, etc.
-Keeping it simple. I am on a constant quest for simplicity. In my home, in my routines, in my schedule, in my cooking, in my wardrobe...
Keeping my life as uncluttered as possible is so important for my well being. I love simplicity in my home that allows my eyes to alight and find rest. The more simple my wardrobe, the easier it is to care for my clothes, the easier it is to decide what to wear. The less I complicate my cooking, the quicker I can have a meal prepared, the easier it is to plan menus, and (in my opinion) the better the food tastes.
-Thinking less, acting more. I tend to be analytical, which can often be paralyzing. I will think and plan and dream of projects I want to do in my home for months, nay years (!), but over thinking can easily lead to in-action. Well, I am making more of an effort to Carpe Diem! I spend a lot of time in our home, and I absolutely adore this place. I love to express myself creatively by decorating our home. There are several projects that I want to complete this summer. Instead of over analyzing it, I am just going to go for it!
Just a few things I am doing now, to be prepared for later...much like a squirrel, storing up nuts for the winter.
*Creative Commons Image from Gilles Gonthier on Flickr.com